Located along a magnificent bay on the South China Sea, the coastal town of Nha Trang is Vietnam's most popular beach and party destination. Formerly a sleepy fishing town mainly frequented by backpackers, the city now boasts luxurious five star beach resorts catering to an upscale market. Turquoise waters and palm fringed white sandy beaches combined with excellent diving opportunities, trendy bars, and fantastically fresh seafood make Nha Trang an easy choice for a fun filled beach vacation.
Places to See
Nha Trang offers 6km of splendid beachfront, including coconut palm trees and vendors selling snacks, drinks, massages, you name it.
A highlight of any visit to Nha Trang is a boat trip to one of the numerous offshore islands. Top picks include Salangane Island, which is famous for its swiftlet nests. These are used for bird's nest soup as well as in traditional Chinese medicine, and depending on the quality can be very expensive. Monkey Island is home to a large number of monkeys - a feature that has become very popular with tourists. The monkeys tend to be quite sassy and as these are wild animals, they should not be fed or touched. Hotels and tour operators in Nha Trang can easily arrange boat trips to any of the islands.
Founded by Swiss doctor Alexandre Yersin in 1895, the institute is now a clinic responsible for vaccinations, research, and medical treatment. Yersin is most famous for discovering the microbe that causes the bubonic plague. In Vietnam, he is also famous for recommending the present day location of Dalat as a site for a hill station. He spent the rest of his life in Vietnam and is buried near Nha Trang. At the Pasteur Institute, Yersin's library and office have been turned into a museum featuring many interesting displays.
Established in 1923, the Oceanographic Institute is located 6km south of town in a splendid French colonial villa. There is an extensive collection of preserved marine life as well as tanks with live animals. A great way to find out more about some of the marine life you may have encountered on a snorkeling or diving trip!
Nha Trang's other top tourist attraction stands only 2km outside of town. The impressive remnants of a group of towers built by the Cham between the 7th and 12th centuries were once centers of worship dedicated to various Hindu gods and goddesses. Today, they are still sacred places, frequented by Hindus and Buddhists alike. Unfortunately, of the ten original towers, only four remain today, but they are well worth a visit. The architecture and stone carvings are marvelous, as is the general atmosphere of the site. Highly recommended!
Nha Trang is the place for scuba diving in Vietnam, and there are many outfits (including diving clubs) around town that can arrange a trip. Swimming, snorkeling, parasailing and sailing are other fun options for water rats and beach bunnies.
For recommended hotels in Nha Trang, click here: Nha Trang Hotels.
Tropical weather with dry season running from June to October. November and December are the wettest months and not suited for any water sports. This is also when ocean waters, which are normally very clear and turquoise, turn murky and brown.
Notes From the Field
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